In Her Own Words: Kelly

September 21, 2023


When I was first diagnosed in August of 2020 it was confusing and scary but I was determined to be as positive as I possibly could. My dad had just been put into hospice care for dementia so I didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on my own health news. All I knew was I would do whatever I needed to do to survive so I could be here for my daughter. My dad passed away October 31 2020, and I had my double mastectomy on November 5 2020. It was a lot all at once but I stayed as positive as I could. Fast forward to December 28th 2020. My first chemo treatment. I found out after my first chemo treatment my then husband had been unfaithful. So, within a weekend my daughter and I moved in with my mom to ensure I was in a safe and healthy environment during treatment. Sixteen treatments of chemo, 30 rounds of radiation, two reconstruction surgeries and the removal of my ovaries and tubes, divorce, selling of my house, moving, teaching art again….here I am in September of 2023. Oh, how I wished by now my life would be back to “normal”. Unfortunately, this is not the case. My positivity during treatment has lessened as I navigate what people call a “new normal”. I take two cancer medications daily to hopefully keep the cancer beast away. The side effects are absolutely awful. I have aged at least 10 years. I’m exhausted most of the time, the meds make me sick, and my bones and joints make me feel like I’m 80. I wish this blog could be more positive but that is not where I am in my survivorship. I am angry, sad, and frustrated. We are not told that after treatment is when the walls really fall apart around you. All of the strength it took to get through treatment has left me weak. I am still trying to process the truth that “normalcy” may never be in my grasp during this lifetime. So many dreams I had and places I wanted to go, seem so out of my reach now. I will continue to wake up every day and be grateful for another day NED and being able to be a mother to my daughter as best as I can considering my physical limitations. The mom guilt is REAL!

Kelly Cook

Diagnosed at 39

Stage 3 Grade 3

ER/PR positive HER2 negative



Recent Post

© 2024 Here for the Girls, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity
EIN 26-0606190
1309 Jamestown Rd. Suite 204
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Contact us at or at 757-645-2649

‌⁠If you are in a life-threatening situation, please do not use this website. Please use the list below for resources or call 911 to request crisis intervention, or other appropriate personnel, for immediate support. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 800-273-TALK (8255) Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741
cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram